Ann did not sleep any that night. She got up very early, before anyone was stirring, and dressed herself in her Sunday clothes. Then she tied up her working clothes in a bundle, crept softly down stairs, and out doors.
It was bright moonlight and quite cold. She ran along as fast as she could on the Boston road. Deacon Thomas Wales’ house was on the way. The windows were lit up. She thought of grandma and poor grandpa, with a sob in her heart, but she sped along. Past the schoolhouse, and meeting-house, too, she had to go, with big qualms of grief and remorse. But she kept on. She was a fast traveller.
She had reached the North Precinct of Braintree by daylight. So far, she had not encountered a single person. Now, she heard horse’s hoofs behind her. She began to run faster, but it was of no use. Soon Captain Abraham French loomed up on his big gray horse, a few paces from her. He was Hannah’s father, but he was a tithing-man, and looked quite stern, and Ann had always stood in great fear of him.
She ran on as fast as her little heels could fly, with a thumping heart. But it was not long before she felt herself seized by a strong arm and swung up behind Captain French on the gray horse. She was in a panic of terror, and would have cried and begged for mercy if she had not been in so much awe of her captor. She thought with awful apprehension of these stolen indentures in her little pocket. What if he should find that out!
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